Sunday, February 18, 2007

Understood Betsy and homeschooling

As we are reading Understood Betsy, we have been able to identify with Betsy in her transition from a big city, divided grade school to a small, 1-room schoolhouse in the country.  She was surprised to go from 3rd grade in everything to being put exactly where her skill levels are.  2nd grade math, 3rd grade spelling and 7th grade reading! How like homeschooling! 

We are not pigeon-holed into one learning level with our homeschooling endeavors. I love that we are not.  We are able to progress as slowly or quickly through our lessons as needed - mastery over keeping everyone in a large class in the same place whether they are ready or not.  Amazing how we as homeschoolers have been able to  recapture this lost art of teaching/learning for our children to some extent.

Without sounding like I am bragging, I know my own children have thrived on not having to stick with what ever assigned skill level they would have been told to stick to.

My 5 year old who would have only been in K5 this year is already reading things on his own.  Mind you they are simple and, like his sister, he will tell you that he cannot read yet (what a way to make mommy nutty, read mommy  a full story out loud, but tell Grandma that you do not know how to read - argh!).  But he is well on his way to independent reading. He was very excited to do his first Language Arts lesson this week.  It entailed learning that there were 5 vowels, a bit of handwriting practice and identifying the vowel sounds in a few words.  But that was big stuff to him (means he is more like big sister now - he has 3 lesson books each day now, LOL).

My 8 year old is half way through 3rd grade math, but would have only been allowed to be in 2nd grade due to her  birthday and we will not even go into her reading level - let’s just say she follows in her mommy’s footsteps.  One interesting skill that she has picked  up from our Charlotte Mason style learning is to take her books that she reads on her own in small bites.  However, that means she often has 5-6 books going at once, LOL!  Hmmm - sounds like someone else I know who shall remain nameless {snicker}!  But she develops such a wonderful relationship with her books and the information in the really sticks with her.

Anyway, I am rambling now - time to wrap it up!  Thanks for putting up with me!